Intensification of agriculture can have spin-offs on surrounding areas and ecosystems. There is a necessity to pursue sustainable agricultural practices to meet the increasing demand for food production while aligning with international conservation targets. Arthropod pest control techniques in Cape Floristic Region pome orchards, South Africa, that preserve biodiversity while simultaneously controlling pests, are reviewed here. Emphasis is placed on the chronic pests: Mediteranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) (Wiedemann), Natal fruit fly (Ceratitis rosa) (Karsch) and codling moth (Cydia pomonella) (L.), while other sporadic and perennial pests are also considered. Biological control (biocontrol) is an important, sustainable pest control measure. However, certain risks associated with releasing living organisms into the environment must not be ignored. Monitoring of release programmes is essential. The sterile insect technique (SIT) offers a species-specific approach for controlling pests. However, the technique is research and management intensive. Globally SIT has shown great success, but lack of financial support has limited SIT uptake in SouthAfricanpomefruit orchards. SIT has shown increased effectiveness as an integrated technique, particularly with parasitoid release and pheromone-based mating disruption. Habitat management, the preservation of natural vegetation and use of beneficial plant species increases crop resilience, encourages conservation biological control and maintains crop health. Area-wide control is stressed as a favourable strategy which deals with entire pest populations rather than isolated farm-by-farm approaches. Other techniques covered include pheromonebased mating disruption, attract-and-kill and physical barriers such as sticky tree-bands, which all show integration potential with biologically-based techniques, while minimising insecticide application. The usefulness of insecticides as a curative approach is recognised, and ways of preserving insecticide life-spans by limiting insect resistance are discussed.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2